5001/Home safe and sound

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Home safe and sound
Date of Scene: 03 February 2021
Location: Stark Tower: Penthouse
Synopsis: Rhodey makes his way to the Penthouse, looking for Tony but finds Pepper. The pair get to talk about everything and nothing in front of the bar and the fireplace.
Cast of Characters: Pepper Potts, James Rhodes

Pepper Potts has posed:
For a City That Never Sleeps, the winter storm that hit did bring life to a slow crawl if not a decided stop, if only for a few hours. The snow fell, the wind blew through the canyons of steel, glass and brick in howled gusts that threatened the umbrellas and hats of any that might be out. The snow that falls is the last bit of storm as the main brunt carries itself out to sea, leaving behind a cold, white covering that looks lovely in the moment.

Within the HQ of the Company that Never Sleeps, that is, Stark Industries, the lights are still on, dotting the tower with soft blazes of illumination serving as a message that all is not stopped. The world still turns (even if the Board had something of a fit when things went radio silent).

And in the Penthouse of said Company sits one of the silent movers and shakers of the corporation, settled on the couch in front of the fireplace, a warm, cozy fire crackling. She's dressed down in yoga pants, a loose t-shirt gracing her form, one easily recognizable as being taken from Tony's wardrobe, and barefoot. Her legs are tucked up, she has a phone to the side, a laptop with several windows open and running concurrently, and her tablet that has scrolling data from the stocks and bonds markets. On the table before her is a stemmed glass with a light colored liquid within; her tastes are running towards a white wine this evening, obviously. Her hair is down, brushed, with a side of it tucked behind an ear as she considers the figures.

"HOMER, give me the earnings report of the top three tech, please."

"Yes, Miss Potts.." the voice isn't JARVIS', with the clipped British accent, but rather, something roughly similar but doesn't have that *spark* that the other has. HOMER is still comparitively new, having replaced the wise-cracking, oh-so-English JARVIS when he was sent to the Avengers Mansion. Upon her request, scrolling numbers appear as if by magic in the air in holographic form before the PA.

"Thank you.."

James Rhodes has posed:
"James Rhodes is comin - " JARVIS starts before Rhodey calls, "Yeah yeah, can't let anyone announce their own presence can you JARVIS?" And a moment later Rhodey bounds up the stairs into the main foyer of the penthouse suite. He is wearing a thick winter coat, puffy, with faux fur around the hood. That kind of coat. And gloves. All three items are soon deposited on a nearby chair, as he walks in grinning as he looks over at Pepper.

"Pepper. Tony around? I was hoping to ask him about....that..thing...or.." and here he trails off and looks out the window over the NYC skyline, "Things? Whatever it was we encountered last evening in the basement of the Avenger's Mansion." He then seems to notice her dress, and the work she has spread around her, "Or...I can..leave? I don't want to get between you and Tony alone time. Rare as it must be." Is he teasing her? Or just commenting on Tony's famously insane schedule.

Pepper Potts has posed:
There are few things that are warm and comforting in a world and a life surrounded by various forms of technology. At any given moment, there is a roombot that *wrrrrs* through, cleaning and tidying. There could even be a drone flying through with offerings of food with a voice overlay of either the resident genius or music. Both have happened in the past! One of those few things, however, is the melodious voice of JARVIS, piping through the system. 'He' obviously still has access to the Tower, and there are moments when the AI feels that it is warranted, or desired that he make his presence known. After 'all' that Pepper's gone through, a friendly, familiar voice is ALWAYS welcome.

"Thank you, JARVI-"

It takes Pepper a moment to actually register that it's JARVIS and not HOMER that had spoken, and another to actually realize what the message is, was.. and the fact there is yet another familiar, friendly voice that appears. Turning her head quickly, green eyes move towards the doorway as James Rhodes enters the penthouse, and a warm smile crosses her face. Setting her laptop to the side, she looks as if she makes to rise, but doesn't as he approaches. Instead, she follows him with her happy gaze.

"Oh, you're a sight, Nanook.." she teases. "That cold, huh?" Think she's going out in that? No. Way. Though, truth be told, she was raised in Connecticut, so the cold isn't that much of a 'thing' for her. So, all by choice!

"It's good to see you." Her tones all carry that message; warm and familiar. Shaking her head, she has a fondly bemused expression that rises. "Tony? He's.. downstairs." In the lab. "Probably working out.. something with Dr Banner." So? No alone time. A wry smile rises as she adds, "And hopefully not poking him too badly." They both know that's //probably// not the case, though.

So, Pepper disentangles herself, barefeet touching the floor, and she does actually rise. "Can I get you something? Coffee? A drink? He may surface."

While she asks, Pepper is making the cross towards the bar where both alcohol and the coffee pots are stationed. "That thing.." and there's a chill in her tones as they drop in the memory. "It needs to go.."

James Rhodes has posed:
"Nanook? No, still Rhodey." James replies with a smile, before he nods at the answers Pepper gives. "Yeah..I mean I could go down there if you want to be alone? I'd hate to intrude, y'know." He follows in Pepper's wake, walking towards the bar.

As he arrives at the bar and looks at the high end liquor all lined up, he decides to go the Marine way: I'll have a beer, if you've got one." He leans against the bar, and then says, "I...look I am not the most stable person. Mentally. I got some ghosts from my time in the Marines. None of them look anything like that thing, but, that thing had full control over all of them. It was...not easy in there. Tony probably thinks I lost my mind there, but...the familiar helps."

He shudders a little bit, and then asks, "How are you doing? I had heard that you and Tony...y'know..before I got back from..where I was." Where he was is left vague for the time being. Perhaps he can't talk about it, or maybe it's so mundane that there's no need to mention it.

Pepper Potts has posed:
The pair reach the bar pretty much at the same time, and Pepper slides behind the bar to pull out that which Rhodey asked for. At the same time, she's getting a quiet feeling of disquiet from her friend. From the man who could easily be called Tony's brother. The beer, of course, is high end.. and the bottle is taken from the small refrigerator and set atop the bar top.

"I.." Pepper pauses and takes a breath; she was in there, hiding from the creature with first Tony and a 'bot, then just the little 'bot as company and security, so she gets it. "I don't know how... hostile it is?" Was? She wasn't there for the destruction, though Tony might have said something about it before departing to his own personal Sanctum Sanctorum. "It seemed more of a collector. It had little stashes here and there."

Pepper has had a few days worth of decompressing; the nightmares have passed, and daily life is beginning once again to consume her. There is comfort in work! After all, there are meetings and such.

"But," and her words are soft, "you're welcome, by the way, to stay in the Tower. Obviously. Tony could use the company, too. Having his best friend around will do wonders for him."

Pepper leans on the bar, and pulls a wayward wisp of hair to tuck it behind her ear. "Well, Tony has finally figured out how good he has it with me around." That's delivered with something of a warm, affectionate smirk. "And," she takes a breath and leans on the bar with a single elbow, "He's doing okay. We are. That creature and it's side-dimension not withstanding."

Now, though, green eyes do show a touch of concern, and Pepper offers up a quick, supportive smile. "You know we're here, right? Even if it's just to have a beer, sit down in front of the fire and talk .. whatever."

James Rhodes has posed:
"I might take you up on that. I'd hate to be the third wheel on whatever it is you and Tony got goin on though. That's still goin on, right?" Rhodey asks, "I mean, I don't think he'd run out on you but...it is Tony. He's a little oblivious sometimes." He points out before he takes a long drink of the beer.

The man considers for a few moments, "I mean, it threw a bunch of garbage at us, nearly took my head off with a chair...maybe it's some sort of extra-dimensional collector but, still, you gotta draw the line at kidnapping. Least, that's where I draw my line on this. Can't come into our dimension and start stealing my friends."

The offer to sit by the fire and just talk seems to be one that he is alright with, as he motions for her towards the chairs by the fire, "Well, I am more than happy to waste some of your valuable time, if you are offering it, Ms. Potts, ma'am," he says, putting on just a little bit of the 'aw shucks he's just a humble Marine' sthick.

Pepper Potts has posed:
Even when she and Tony weren't an 'item', Pepper's manner of speech had always been inclusive, that 'we'. After all, even if not romantically paired, they had still been a team. One to be reckoned with. She chuckles and the smile remains behind, warm and oh so understanding.

"Yes, well.."

Pepper begins the cross back towards the couch where she'd left her work and her glass of wine, padding in barefeet. Once she reaches the couch, she folds her legs under her and settles back down gracefully on the cushions. Once down, there's a lean to retake her glass, and cradling it on the stem, gives Rhodey her full attention once more. "Well, you're not a third wheel. You're his best friend, and he needs that." Now that that's out of the way, Pepper can't help but have her smile grow slightly, and she shifts before sinking in the back of the couch a little more.

"Tony is still Tony," Pepper admits. "There is no shortage of beautiful woman throwing themselves at him. And, remarkably, there has only been a few whispers about the fact he and I have been seen going to dinner. But, we did that before, too. Openings, press conferences. I've always been there. So..." Agents of models still call, trying to get a leg up in the industry by being photographed arm in arm with Tony Stark. Actresses still call for dates for Opening Galas to their movie nights. He's gone to fewer and fewer, however. "I think he's.." and in response to her own inner musings, she nods, finishing with, "...okay. We're navigating it."

As for the monster, though, Pepper listens keenly, catching more of the story of the battle at the mansion. She wasn't there, wasn't on coms. She didn't want to be. Instead, she buried herself in work, contacting the Board, apologizing for the quick trip out of the country they'd taken, and now that the two have returned, obviously it's back to business as usual. "Tony apologized to me that he was pulled out first, but.." Pepper shakes her head, adding, "I wouldn't have been able to get him out." And that bothers her. "I'm sure Dr. Pym and Bruce would have, but.."

Still, it's a warm fire, and the snow is gently drifted on the balcony and the landing spot. It's lovely, the Empire State Building in lights and snow beyond, and the city. "Then stay, get warm, and we'll talk while I finish up a few things. Maybe Tony will wander up. I'm sure JARVIS told him."